You might be looking for the Private Practice episode of the same name.
There are moments when all of the stars align. When everything seems as it should be. Your life seems to have sorted itself out. It's not like all our problems go away. It's just the problems are suddenly manageable. You feel so good you wonder if it's real. And if I've learned anything, I can tell you it is. It's very real, but it will not last. There are days when you feel like you can conquer anything and it feels like everything will be okay. Like I told you, the feeling doesn't last. I'm not trying to be cynical. It's just that even when a day starts out so, so well, that day can end so, so badly.

True Colors is the twenty-third episode of the thirteenth season and the 292nd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

The doctors of Grey Sloan encounter a difficult case involving a dangerous patient. Meanwhile, Owen receives life-changing news that pushes Amelia to step up to support him, and Alex attends a medical conference after making a shocking discovery.

Full SummaryEdit

Arizona wakes up next to Eliza. She rolls over and they kiss.

Meredith wakes up and is horrified that she and Nathan fell asleep in her bed. She tells him it's not an accident that her kids have never seen him. She directs him out of the house after he gets dressed.

Amelia wakes up and looks at the empty spot next to her.

Owen hears a knock at the door. He sees two uniformed military members. He asks if they're there about his sister and zones out while they tell him what they know.

Stephanie finds Richard as she enters the hospital. She says she talked as much in therapy as she needs to and she's ready to get back to work. She won't throw anything at patients' families anymore. Richard agrees to sign the paper and tells her he'll talk to Minnick.

Alex tells Meredith on the phone that he found Jo's husband and went to a conference he was scheduled to be at. As he talks, he finds her husband, Paul Stadler. He tells Meredith he doesn't know what he's doing or if he'll do anything, just as Nathan shows Meredith that they ended up with each other's IDs and trade them back. Meredith tells Alex to come home, but he says he can't.

Bailey enters a traum room where April is working on Alison Goodman. She was in a car with another person and they drove off a cliff. She was brought in without her shirt and with no ID. Bailey asks why she doesn't have a shirt and April sends her next door to see the passenger.

In the next room, Stephanie and Andrew are working on Keith, who has no pants and is also unconscious. They figure the two were having sex when they accidentally put the car in gear.

Owen is still in shock as he rides the elevator up to work. The doors opens and he imagines the officers there again, but it's really not them. He walks to the ER, where April starts telling him about the cases of the day, but he doesn't hear her. She's distracted by the Millers coming in with their baby, who is choking on something. April prepares to do a crike, but before she can, Owen goes over to her and does two back thrusts, which dislodges the coin from her throat and allows her to start breathing again. He also has neuro paged to check her function and tells the parents to call an ambulance next time.

Alison's leg is broken and she has no pulse in her foot. As the doctors discuss if the car sex was good, Alison wakes up. She asks if Keith is alive. Then she starts coughing up blood. She starts crashing, so the prep for REBOA to buy her time until they can get her to surgery.

Eliza asks why Stephanie is working instead of at counseling as she works on Keith. Stephanie says her paper was signed. He has fluid in his belly. He needs to be monitored. Eliza says Stephanie can do it. She's upset and says she should have just gone to the counseling, which Eliza agrees with.

As Meredith leaves the trauma room, she sees Erin Miller, separated from her family and pulling a syringe from a cart. Meredith takes it from her and explains what it's for, then has Erin lead her to her parents.

Arizona is examining the baby, who is breathing normally. She says Denise Miller can start to feed her. Gary is worried about her brain. Meredith drops Erin back off with them and reminds them to keep an eye on her. Amelia says her neuro checks are good, but they want to keep her for a few hours to observe her. They ask to speak to the doctor who pounded on the baby and Amelia says she'll have him come by.

Owen is in an exam room when Amelia comes in and asks him about the choking baby. She tells him the parents want to talk to him. She doesn't know why. Owen says he'll talk to them and Amelia leaves.

Alex sits on a sofa. He looks at the envelope from the PI and then at Paul. He follows Paul to the bar, introduces himself, and offers to buy him a drink. They get drunk and laugh together. Then they walk out together. Outside, Paul screams at his phone. It's his girlfriend, who is constantly texting him. Alex says this is from his wife and then punches him repeatedly. Once he's down on the ground, Alex sees flashing lights. He's locked in a cell.

Alex snaps out of his daze, still on the sofa.

Stephanie is with Keith, stitching his head. He hasn't woken up. Jackson comes in and Stephanie says his head CT was clear, but he has a liver laceration. Keith starts to wake up and Jackson extubates him. They tell him about the accident and tell him they have Alison, too. He asks about her and is told she's in surgery. He tries to get up to see her, but they push him back into his bed. They agree to update him on her, but he needs to relax.

Meredith and Nathan are talking about a patient with Meredith sees Erin playing in the x-ray room. They go into the room and ask what she's doing. She asks what the boards do. Nathan puts up an x-ray to show her. She's fascinated by what she sees and says her baby sister almost died and her parents are in the ICU. Meredith and Nathan take her back to her dad, who is still on his phone.

As the walk away, Meredith invites Nathan to dinner with the kids. He agrees and she says he can stay a while after the kids go to bed, but not the whole night.

Eliza asks Stephanie about Keith, whom she says is stable and alert. Maggie comes by and says Alison's out of surgery, but not awake. They all discuss the relationship between the two patients. Maggie thinks car sex is never comfortable. Eliza says they need bigger cars. They say their patients asked about each other. Jackson thinks it was emergency sex, but Eliza and Arizona think that's cynical.

Meredith goes to Amelia. Amelia starts to tell her about Owen, but Meredith stops her and says she invited Nathan over to meet the kids and now she feels sick. Amelia says she's worried that the kids will get attached and then Nathan will leave. It's how Amelia thinks, too. Amelia tells her Derek is dead and there's nothing in her way but her.

Owen walks into the Miller baby's hospital room. They thank him for saving her life. As Denise hugs him, he zones out and pushes her off before leaving the room, which Amelia sees from the hallway.

Owen goes into a supply closet, followed by Amelia. He tells her about the soldiers coming to his house and telling him about Megan. Amelia assumes she's dead and consoles Owen, but he tells her Megan was found alive.

Owen tells Amelia they found her in a basement after a raid. He believes it might be a mistaken identity, but Amelia says they can find out for sure.

Alex looks at the conference schedule, then finds Paul backstage as he prepares to make a speech. He tells Paul he's a friend of Paul's wife and if he ever goes near his wife again, Alex will kill him. Later, Alex goes to the loft looking for Jo and finds Paul strangling her on the floor. Alex wakes up at the conference, still looking at the schedule.

Keith tries to get out of bed, but Stephanie stops him and tells him he needs to stop moving because of his liver. Keith says he wants to be there for Alison when she wakes up so she won't be so scared. He begs Stephanie to help him.

Amelia talks to the German hospital about Megan. He tells her to ask for Teddy. She does and Teddy confirms that it's really Megan. Teddy also says she tried to call Owen and talk to him, but he's refused to talk to her. Amelia asks to have her transferred to Grey Sloan. Once she's off the phone, she tells Owen what she learned and then says she called the leading expert in PTSD for Owen. Owen's upset because there were times he forgot all about Megan and went on with his wife, while she was out there being tortured. Amelia holds him while he cries.

Jackson asks Maggie about Alison. They talk about why people do things like what Alison and Keith did. Maggie says people get hurt, but they come out the other side. After they exit the elevator, Erin gets on and pushes at the buttons.

Alison is waking up as Maggie and Jackson come into the room. Alison asks if she killed Keith. Bailey tells her she didn't and it's okay, but Alison is upset because he was trying to rape her. She drove off the cliff to stop him. Bailey tells them to call security and Jackson remembers that Stephanie is with Keith and runs to find her.

Meanwhile, Stephanie has Keith in a wheelchair and is pushing him toward Alison's room.

Paul leaves to grab a cab. When he sees Alex waiting, he offers to split it to the airport, but Alex says he can have it, so Paul gets in and directs the driver to the airport.

Stephanie tells Keith the ICU is family only, so he'll need to follow her lead. A few security guards pass them, so Stephanie asks Hannah what happened. Hannah tells her a patient was raped and they're looking for the rapist. After she's gone, Keith gets up and holds a scalpel to Stephanie's neck and tells her to lead him out of the hospital.

Meredith tells the kids to put their backpacks upstairs and get changed because Mommy has a friend coming over. Zola asks if it's Owen, because Owen's on the couch. Amelia tells her to get the kids squared away and they'll talk.

Stephanie leads Keith down the hall. They pass Ben, which Stephanie says is the last obstacle before they get out. Ben asks if she needs help, but Stephanie says no. They get to the stairwell, which upsets Keith because he thinks she's putting him in danger, but she says it's the best way out. She tries to give him her badge to get out, but he says she's going with him.

As Bailey gives directions to the security guards, Jackson tells her Stephanie and the patient are gone. Bailey says to call a Code Orange and lock the hospital down.

Stephanie is mumbling and he tells her to stop praying. She tells him she's not. She's hoping for him to bleed out. She trips on a stair and he makes a small cut to her throat. When they hear another person in the stairs, he pulls Stephanie out into a hallway. The people pass, but before they can get back in the stairs, Erin sees them. Stephanie tells Erin to go back out, but Erin says it won't open again. Stephanie wants to let Erin out and tells Keith they'll go. Keith agrees, but Stephanie's badge won't work because of the lockdown. They're trapped there with Erin.

Amelia tells Meredith about Megan. Megan will be there tomorrow. Nathan doesn't know yet. Meredith says she'll tell him and she wants to go immediately to tell him. She asks Amelia to watch the kids while she goes.

Jackson tells Maggie they haven't found them yet and there's no word from Stephanie either. Maggie's sure they'll find Keith and Stephanie. Jackson feels guilty for leaving Stephanie with Keith. Maggie thinks they already got out and are long gone by now. Stephanie might be completely fine. Jackson says she's not cynical, but she thinks she wasn't cynical enough. Maggie made up a nice story about their patients, but Jackson says they all do it and he likes her version better than reality.

Keith is trying to get out as Stephanie sits with Erin. Stephanie tells him the only thing that will open the doors is calling off the lockdown or an emergency like a fire. He drags Stephanie into a room and tells her to give him something to start a fire. She tries to stop him, but Erin asks if a sparker will work.

Keith talks Erin through getting supplies to start the fire. Once it's ready, he sends them both to the wall as he gets ready to start the fire. He says once it's started, he'll take Erin and Stephanie's badge. Stephanie objects to that. Seeing her chance, Stephanie tells Erin to look away and cover her ears. Then she goes to Keith and sprays him with alcohol as he lifts the fire up to the sprinkler. Soon, the fire spreads and flames engulf Keith's body. Stephanie grabs Erin and goes into a room with her, but then she sees Keith crawling toward flammable tanks, so she tells Erin to get as far away as possible and runs to try to get Keith away from the tank. However, before she can get to him, the tanks explode, throwing her back.

Outside the hospital, Meredith walks toward the entrance, but hears a loud explosion and sees a corner of the building burst into flames.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • April Kepner
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Wilson (portrayed by stand-in)
  • Stephanie Edwards
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Ben Warren
  • Nathan Riggs
  • Andrew DeLuca
  • Eliza Minnick
  • Keith
  • Alison Goodman
  • Erin Miller
  • Paul Stadler
  • Gary Miller
  • Denise Miller
  • Intern Hannah Brody
  • Major William Allen
  • Woman
  • Zola Grey Shepherd

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Alison GoodmanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken leg
    • Abdominal bleeding
    • Aortic injury
  • Treatment:
    • REBOA
    • Surgery

Alison came into the ER after driving her car off a cliff, responsive only to pain. Her leg was broken and she had developed a hematoma with no blood flow to her foot. Her abdomen was distended. She started coughing up blood, so they did REBOA and then took her to surgery to repair and aortic injury. The surgery was successful and Alison was stable and awake afterward.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Bruising
    • Head laceration
    • Skull fracture
    • Grade III liver laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Keith came into the ER after the car he was in was driven off a cliff. He was unconscious and had bruises on his chest and abdomen as well as a head laceration. He had evidence of a skull fracture and fluid in Morrison's pouch. Stephanie stitched up his head after they found a grade III liver laceration. He woke up and was extubated. He later tried to get up to go see Alison despite being told not to move, which could worsen his liver laceration. Stephanie put him in a wheelchair and pushed him toward Alison's room. On the way to her room, they were passed by security guards and Hannah told Stephanie a patient had been raped. Keith got up and walked with Stephanie to an exit. Before they could get out, a lockdown was activated. During the lockdown, Stephanie covered him accelerant after he started a fire to try to escape the building. While on fire, he crawled toward a tank of oxygen, which then exploded.

Baby MillerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Obstructed airway
  • Treatment:
    • Back thrusts

Baby Miller came into the ER choking. April went to crike her, but Owen picked her up and did two back thrusts, which dislodged the coin from her throat. Because she'd been without air for five minutes, Owen told April to page neuro. Arizona said she was breathing fine and that her mom could start feeding her. Amelia did a neuro exam, which was normal, but they decided to keep her in the PICU for observation.

Meredith and Nathan's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Perforated esophagus
  • Treatment:
    • TPN

Meredith and Nathan had a shared patient with a perforated esophagus. Meredith wanted to wait a day before operating on him and give him TPN in the meantime.


Song Performer Scene
"Backbeat" Dagny
  • Arizona wakes up and looks over to see Eliza. They kiss.
  • Meredith wakes up, alarmed that she and Nathan fell asleep.
  • She's not ready for him to meet her kids and has him sneak out.
  • Amelia wakes up alone.
  • Owen hears a knock on the door.
"Dynamite" Nicky Blitz
  • Alex follows Jo's husband to the bar.
  • He uses a fake names and introduces himself and they talk about Paul's work.
  • They leave together and Paul yells at his phone. Alex punches him repeatedly, saying it's from his wife.
  • Alex hears a siren and sees flashing lights.
  • Alex wakes up, still in the hotel.
"Last to Know" Electric Owls
  • Alex approaches Paul as he prepares to make a speech and wishes him luck.
  • Alex says he's a friend of his wife, Brooke Stadler.
  • He says that if Paul ever comes near her, he'll kill him.
  • He leaves as Paul goes out to make his speech.
  • Alex goes to Jo's door and finds Paul strangling her on the floor.
  • Again, he wakes up, still in the hotel.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 13x23 Promo "True Colors" (HD) Season 13 Episode 23 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 13x23 Promo "True Colors" (HD) Season 13 Episode 23 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song True Colors, originally sung by Cyndi Lauper.
  • This episode scored 7.02 million viewers.
  • This marks the first time ever that a Grey's Anatomy episode has shared a title with a Private Practice episode.
  • Jo's previous name is revealed to be Brooke Stadler in Alex's fantasy of confronting Paul, her husband, about his abuse of her.
  • Jo only physically appears as she's being strangled by Paul in Alex's imagination. If you pause the frame, it's clear she's portrayed by a stand-in (possibly stunt double) rather than Camilla Luddington herself.
  • This marks the first time since her departure that Teddy Altman is mentioned in reality. Owen only mentioned her once before in one of Cristina's imaginary futures.
  • As stated by Kevin McKidd, the shot where Owen lies on Amelia's lap as Meredith and her kids enter the house was meant to mirror the shot of Owen lying on Cristina's lap as she was reading Ellis's journal in Beat Your Heart Out.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Meredith: My kids will be up. They'll see you.
Nathan: Why is that such a bad thing? I've been over here a lot lately.
Meredith: And they've never seen you. Do you think that's an accident?
Nathan: What, so you don't want me to meet them?
Meredith: Not in my bed.

Richard: How's your throwing arm?
Stephanie: Retired.

Bailey: Was he dressed?
Stephanie: Except for his pants.
Bailey: So, these two were not driving. They were parking.
Andrew: The theory is they got overexcited and popped the car into gear.
Stephanie: Premature acceleration. You know, it happens to a lot of guys.
Bailey: People need to get busy where God intended parking lots, where it's flat.

Meredith: I feel really sick.
Amelia: Because you think the kids will like him, and then it'll fall apart and he'll be gone and the kids will be sad.
Meredith: No, it's not that.
Amelia: It's that. I know this because I'm the queen of thinking this way. I always think everybody's gonna die.
Meredith: Yeah, but you're crazy. I'm just sick.
Amelia: Derek is dead. Maggie is fine. There is nothing in your way but you. Let yourself have this.
Meredith: Look at you being the sane one.
Amelia: Moments. I have moments.

Owen: Two soldiers came to the house today. They said they found her. They said they found Megan.
Amelia: Owen, I'm so sorry. At least you know. Maybe you can find some peace.
Owen: They said that she's alive. They said they found her in a basement in a rebel-held neighborhood. There was a raid, and they just left her there.

Owen: I got married right over there. And I got divorced. Then, I got married again. Then I went on with my life. And I left Megan in a hole in the ground for almost 10 years. Weeks would go by, and I didn't give her a thought. I couldn't spare her a thought when she was being held and tortured and I don't know what. I stopped looking. I gave up. I gave up on her.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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